The FCCA approves acquisition of AtoBatC Holding AB and AtoBatC Shipping AB by ESL Shipping Oy

On 27 July 2018, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) approved an acquisition whereby ESL Shipping Oy will gain sole control of AtoBatC Shipping AB and AtoBatC Holding AB. The FCCA has concluded that the acquisition will not significantly impede competition on the Finnish market.

ESL Shipping Oy is a carrier of dry bulk cargoes, handling raw material transports for the industry and energy production. The main clients are companies operating in the steel, power generation and mining industries. AtoBatC Holding AB and AtoBatC Shipping AB form a Swedish shipping services company focusing on bulk cargoes, mainly transporting pulp, steel, sawn timber, other bulk cargoes and project cargoes.

ESL Shipping is an Aspo Group company. Aspo, a conglomerate focusing on B-to-B customers, owns and develops business operations in Northern Europe and in selected growth markets. Aspo Plc’s shares are listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. ESL Shipping operates in the Baltic Sea Region and in Northern Europe on the Atlantic coast, while AtoBatC operates in the Baltic Sea and Northern Europe but also in northern Spain, Portugal and the Mediterranean Sea. AtoBatC’s head office is situated in Ystad, Sweden and a branch office in Raahe, Finland.

The FCCA has concluded that the acquisition will not significantly impede effective competition on the Finnish market. The parties to the acquisition only have overlapping business operations in the transport market of vessels in the less than 10,000 DWT category. However, the FCCA considers that the combined market share remains low.

The FCCA’s decision includes business secrets of the parties involved. The decision cannot be published until the business secrets have been removed.

Further information:

  • Research Officer Pontus Ranta, tel. +358 29 505 3747,

According to the Competition Act, the FCCA must be notified of the transaction if the combined turnover of the parties to the corporate transaction exceeds 350 million euros and the turnover from Finland of at least two of the parties exceeds a combined total of 20 million euros. The FCCA will approve a corporate transaction if it has none of the harmful impacts referred to in the Competition Act. The FCCA will intervene in corporate transactions if its investigations suggest that the acquisition substantially impedes effective competition on Finnish markets or a substantial part of the markets, particularly through the creation or reinforcement of a dominant market position. Where necessary, notifications of acquisitions are considered in two stages. The so-called first stage takes a month at most. If the acquisition is clearly not harmful to competition, or if the harmful effects can be prevented by means proposed by the parties to the acquisition, the acquisition is approved during the first stage. If not, the FCCA decides to conduct a further investigation of the matter, during which the acquisition and its competition effects are investigated in further detail.